As part of the ongoing programming of its Transatlantic Cities Network, GMF's Urban and Regional Policy Program supported Growth Through Energy & Community Health (GTECH), a Pittsburgh community revitalization organization, to host a bike tour highlighting local community efforts to reclaim vacant spaces. Dozens of local residents participated in the bike tour and hundreds more took part in the day's events, which included local vendors and GTECH's community partners.
The event, which took place earlier this year, showcased and celebrated the greening activities that are now widespread throughout the city's neighborhoods. Further, the event created a platform from which participants could advocate on behalf of green infrastructure and transportation options and influence the local policy frameworks that could accommodate both.
Andrew Butcher, CEO of GTECH, describes the potential impact of the day's event:
"With the publicity surrounding this event, we were able to engage public officials and policy makers about the work that we do, and show a diverse group of stakeholders who support this work. This event brought together many diverse individuals and facilitated discussion and potential collaboration, such that we created a platform of advocacy for issues such as alternative transportation and green infrastructure. With our partnership with Bike Pittsburgh, we learned about how to support zoning adjustments that encourage safety and green infrastructure. Finally, by bringing these goals and positions together, we have the opportunity to inform the City of Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Plan addressing transportation, land use, and open space."
GMF's support for the event is one aspect of its continuing presence in Midwestern Cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Cleveland as part of its Cities in Transition initiative and its Transatlantic Cities Network.